Following the recent tragedy at sea in which Kieran Browne lost his life, near Hook Island on 1 July 2013; I was heartened to see our community unite and support each other in our time of grief. On behalf of Kieran's family and many friends I would like to express our gratitude to all of those individuals (too many to name individually but you know who you are) who rallied together in many vital ways to assist in putting together what was a truly warm and befitting farewell ceremony for Kieran, during which Kieran’s family (who flew in from Melbourne and Brisbane) were able to witness first-hand the attributes and strength of our community that helped Kieran to decide to call the Whitsundays his home.
I would especially like to recognise and personally thank the following businesses who selflessly set aside their profits and displayed overwhelming generosity and strength of character in a time of adversity -:
Max Bear and Roy Bannister from MARS Charters (Hamilton Island) who generously provided a very suitable vessel and crew completely free of charge, to transport the family and close friends to the location of the Kieran’s accident (which enabled us all to understand a little better what had happened on that fateful night);
Cruise Whitsunday and their management and staff for the assistance offered and provided by way of professional counselling services for those in need and for providing inter-island transfers etc to the family and close friends as required, all free of charge, as well as the compassion and understanding for those Cruise Whit staff who were emotionally effected including those whom were unable to attend work at the time;
Cumberland Charter Yachts for providing free of charge, one of their beautiful vessels to facilitate spreading Kieran's ashes in Funnel Bay, with a very special thank you to Cumberland’s gracious skipper Tony Bell who did an amazing job;
Magnums staff and general manager (Jason Hickmott) who generously provided the venue in their suitably private upstairs area for the wake, free of charge, as well as generously giving several hundreds of dollars to the bar tab on the night. Dan Harper CANNONVALE